Home' Australian Aviation Magazine : March 2011 Contents 41
MARCH 2011 AUSTRALIAN AVIATION
Indeed, a couple of pilot SRP projects es-
tablished with bigger picture goals in mind
have shown the direction in which the Air
Force is headed.
"2010 began with two pilot projects
to test how we should approach reforms,
these being the C-130 and Wide Area
Sur veillance ( JORN Over e Horizon
Radar) reforms," said Binskin. " rough
the e orts of all involved from Air Force
and DMO, some positive results have been
achieved including C-130 deeper mainte-
nance contract savings of $22.83 million
between 09/10 and 12/13 nancial years,
and improved aircraft availability in the
Middle East to 95 per cent. Improvements
were also achieved through the Wide Area
Sur veillance reform, with $61 million in
cost reduction opportunities identi ed. In
addition, many valuable lessons have been
learnt and applied to the way we set up for
and conduct reform."
Binskin says there's been little resistance
to the SRP from the RAAF rank and le,
despite several previous reform e orts com-
ing and going over the past few decades.
"You might get some crusty 'olds and bolds'
out there who will look at it that way, but I
think very rapidly they are overtaken by a
lot of the younger crowd or those who are
willing to look at better ways of doing," he
said. " e very small percentage that were
the naysayers, I think are being over-
whelmed by those who understand there
are a lot of ways we can do things better
" e major thing is actually channel-
ling people, and everyone's got ideas on
how to do things better, which is fantastic.
e real challenge has been focusing that
down into bite-sized chunks of what we
can do now, what we can't do right now,
and what we won't do. We're looking at
targets across Defence in the billions, and
people say, 'that's a big target to make', but
when you break it down to unit level, what
you're really looking for is savings in the
thousands and tens of thousands, and then
the hundreds of thousands and millions at
the wing. So by the time you actually add
it up, it's achievable."
e professionalism of Air Force per-
sonnel is key to their willingness to both
embrace the SRP and to allow the RAAF
to be the world's "best small air force".
"If you look at what makes a good Air
Force person, it's someone with the drive;
it's someone who's in the Air Force because
they want to be in the Air Force. You don't
have to be in the Air Force -- you're in it
because you choose to be in it and you
choose to stay in it," CAF said.
"Because of that we've got people who
have got individual drive and individual
initiative, and they want to do the best that
they can, and sometimes that creates prob-
lems for us, because we want to try and wind
back the tempo a little bit to give people a
break, but when we wind it back, and take
a few tasks away from them, they're that
driven that they've lled it again ... because
they want to do the best that they can.
And I see that across the board, whether
it's in the support areas, the ying areas or
wherever, everyone wants to do the best that
they can. So being Chief of Air Force is easy
in some ways, because I don't have to put the
drive into people -- they want to do it. What
you do is you channel all that energy into
the best direction."
Consequently, and unlike for any Air
Force chief before him in a generation,
RAAF personnel retention rates are high
(separation rates are currently running
around ve per cent per year), even at a
time of high operational tempo.
"People put improved retention down to
the global nancial crisis and all that, but in
fact if you look at the trend it was already
heading that way long before then. I put it
down to just a simple thing -- I think we're
basically a good out t to be in, and people
enjoy being a part of it.
"We have a competitive package there,
from a remuneration point of view. e
challenges are there for the workforce. So it
doesn't matter where you are, there's chal-
lenges to work towards, but at the end of
the day, it's a good out t. I might be a bit
biased, but it's a good out t."
It is a "good out t" with a new profes-
sionalism at its core.
"It is a professional Air Force. All you've
got to do is look at the ribbons and the
medals on the junior personnel out there,
whether they be aircrew, or maintainers, or
logisticians, or intel analysts. Junior people
out there, young people who have been to
Afghanistan or the Middle East, and some
of them a number of times -- that in itself
tends to focus the organisation to that
operational focus, and that has worked very
well for us."
LIFT OFF The C-17 and the Battle Field Airlifter Caribou replacement will be the large and the small "pegs in the sand" heading into the late 2020s, with a
decision to be made on what best fills the gap in between. (Dept of Defence)
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